Roaring Ultra HD sector to gloss over declining overall TV sales

the Ultra HD 4KTV market is set to smash the 30 million shipment barrier by the end of 2015

Flying in the face of an expected 2% dip in overall sales of all TV screens, the Ultra HD 4KTV market is set to smash the 30 million shipment barrier by the end of 2015, says Futuresource Consulting.

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According to the analyst's worldwide TV market report, the global TV market has hit a temporary turning point after sales rose 3% in 2014 to reach 235 million units, with a trading value up to $94 billion. The report anticipates that trade value globally in 2015 will fall by the same margin to $91 billion, due mainly to a continued depressed market in China as well Russia's economic issues. Futuresource notes that economic uncertainty is continuing to affect many markets in Europe, contributing to expected declines in many countries across the continent.

There are a number of caveats in the analysis. First, Futuresource said that the TV market landscape remains varied across the globe, with some regions, such as Latin America, experiencing significant growth, caused by the Brazilian World Cup and the start of analogue switch-offs in the region, which are set to continue beyond the forecast period. Europe, too, enjoyed 3% growth. APAC, however, said the report, declined during 2014 but remained the largest region for TV demand, accounting for 37% of shipments.

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Yet with saturation in many countries within the region relatively low, Futuresource predicts that any decline won't last, and it expects growth to return in the coming years. A key driver will likely be larger screens and 4K models being adopted faster than previously forecast. Even though it observed that industry opinion on curved screens is 'mixed', Futuresource expects strong growth from them in 2015, with the growth in the 4K market helping their performance. Meanwhile, smart TV was seen to be continuing to grow its share of the market, although not at the pace previously anticipated.

"Although we expect to see a decrease in worldwide shipments in 2015, Futuresource expects the TV market to recover well in the longer term," explained Futuresource senior market analyst Jack Wetherill. "In the coming years Futuresource believes that replacement demand will increase with sets bought at the start of flat panel boom being upgraded. Also, the shift in consumer preference to larger screen sizes will help the performance of 4K sets."

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